Fake news cannot be clearly and perfectly defined because, for every person in the world, the meaning of news will be different. People may feel that certain news is true depending on their political views and attitude to a specific situation. Thus, news does not only entail facts. Articles you read may be interesting to you or make you feel uncomfortable may very well be fueled by propaganda agendas such as blackening the reputation of political entities’ enemies.
In the past, fake news was considered to be completely false information, introduced to the media for disinformation or as a joke. Today, fake news is considered distortions of reality and over-exaggerations, where people believe in any news that matches their views. People accept different types of information as truth and that’s why it is so difficult to eradicate fake news. There are two versions of fake news – completely untrue, contradicting facts and that which depends on interpretation and people’s views on a given topic.
Based on the lecture (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IBo15qIR-Wo), truth is the best and most commonly accepted theory but there can be a few different kinds of truths: one’s own (a subjective truth) and a truth which is not absolute. Television usually serves us with recent, relevant and the most convenient truth because it may be controlled by current government, political or commercial influence. On the other hand, on the internet, there is a rule for freedom of speech entitled “if you offend an ethnic minority we will block your Facebook account”.
What we want from the largest sources providing us news (Facebook, Google, BBC etc.) is transparency and neutrality towards certain topics. Algorithms and reports should also be developed to prevent and eradicate fake news, and most importantly, people shouldn’t believe everything they read and be aware that (especially in the media) not everything is true.
– Michal (student of The English Square)